What are community wireless networks? The social organization

Answering this depends on the social context in which the network is deployed, as well as the technical characteristics of the network.

Wikipedia defines a community wireless network as “The organizations that attempt to take a grassroots approach to providing a viable alternative to municipal wireless networks for consumers.”

The Center for Neighborhood Technology defines it as “a high-speed computer network that uses radio technology to connect community members to one another. This connection provides access to the Internet and to community-generated content. It is called a “community” network because it provides community- wide coverage. A WCN is a resource that is owned and operated by the community.”

A community wireless activist interviewed for this research named Greg Bloom who worked at Washington DC’s Broadband Bridge defined a community wireless network as “21st century grassroots communication infrastructure.”

Ultimately who controls the network determines the social organization of the network.  Community wireless networks are controlled by members of a geographically local community, as opposed to commercial or government entities.

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